Posts Tagged ‘alison st ledger


Women In Voice 2015


Women In Voice 2015

Judith Wright Centre & WiV

Judith Wright Centre

October 15 – 24 2015


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward


jan van de stool


Women In Voice (WiV), the fabulously fun and entertaining, long-running Brisbane institution returns to the Judy in its 23rd configuration.

Its successful formula this time features Emma Dean, Carol Lloyd, Yani, Alison St Ledger and Queenie van de Zandt in the guise of her alter ego, International Music Therapist, Jan van de Stool.




Van de Stool appeared with WiV in 2006 and it’s her hysterical patter as MC that elevates this show to the next level. Unlike the diehard WiV fans that don’t miss a show I’ve attended intermittently over the years, impressed with some performances and with others, not so much. It’s the first time I’ve seen Van de Zandt’s character away from YouTube and, along with a stellar sounding band and Emma Dean’s superb performance, Van de Zandt as Van de Stool is the highlight of the night. Only Carita Farrar Spencer (and probs Bob Downe) comes close to entertaining a crowd in a similar fashion, and it’s with Farrar Spencer that Van de Zandt hopes to take WiV to Melbourne.


But wait. Why not pair Women in Voice with Women of Letters? I KNOW. CAN YOU IMAGINE?!




Emma Dean opens the show with a suitably eclectic, precisely stitched together set, featuring superb arrangements by Stephen Russell (MD, piano & mandolin) of Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Fiona Apple and Bjork. She also sings (and drums with style) a fun, sassy song about a hot knife and pound of butter, which we first heard in Noosa when we hosted Dean and Francesca de Valence in an intimate “home” concert. What is that song called?


Recently returned from a stint in NYC, Dean’s unique voice and vibe are stronger than ever; she’s delicious enough to send a shiver down my spine on more than one occasion, and she’s a clear favourite with the audience on opening night.




Carol Lloyd, Aussie rock legend, suited up and still in strong voice, appears to come with her league of loyal fans and with them she is a hit. For me, it’s the gentle acapella arrangement of Calling All Angels, shared by the women, which strikes the right chord and lifts this rock ballad to new heavenly heights.




“World Music Mama” Yani and Alison St Ledger bring new stories to the stage their way. I’ve never enjoyed a St Ledger set so much – so much story – and Yani’s voice is pure and Woodford Folk Festival hungry (or perhaps I am! I think we’re all yearning for it…not long now!). It’s in these moments especially, looking around at an appreciative audience, that we can clearly see the success of the formula.


In each WiV production we enjoy such diverse talent and personal stories from some of the best artists around. It’s always a mixed bag so you can’t really ever lose, and if you take a few friends and book a cabaret table (the best way to enjoy an evening of cabaret, let’s face it!), you’ll have loads of fun during and lots more to discuss after the show.


This lineup won’t disappoint.

Go, book a table, take in a drink and enjoy.







Queensland Cabaret Festival opens tonight!


We’re sending the lucky winners of our double passes to ABSINTHE tonight!

Have fun, Chris, Tara and Gail!


Meanwhile, in New Farm…



Queensland Cabaret Festival opens at Brisbane Powerhouse TONIGHT!






Tonight’s Voices of Vice lineup features a mouth-watering feast of festival performers and local legends including Bethan Ellsmore, Dirty Sexy Politics, Cienda McNamara, Tyrone Noonan, Alison St Ledger, Lizzie Moore, Sandro Colarelli, Greg Bird, Rebecca Grennan, David Megarrity and Bridget Boyle.



Feel free to flaunt your bad habits, perversions, and licentiousness in our den of iniquity where too much is never enough. Indulge in this celebration of tantalising transgressions, which are guaranteed to be delightful, delicious and a little bit wrong.



BPH_QCF_Queen_of_the_Night_1_2015-1178x663 BPH_QCF_Vegas_Standards_1_20151-1178x663

In the immortal words of Tom Waits, “There ain’t no Devil, there’s just God when he’s drunk” so leave your better angels at the door – we won’t tell if you won’t!


















Confessions of a Control Freak


Confessions of a Control Freak

Judith Wright Centre & Belinda Raisin

Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts

15 – 17  August 2013


Reviewed by Meredith Walker


A cabaret for the over-committed.


Frances is caught in the rat trap of this multi-tasking, multi-vitamin, multi-media modern era. When she attempts to trade now now now for a little namaste, her carefully controlled existence rapidly unravels, revealing the virtues of procrastination and the joys of mixing yoga and alcohol.


Returning to Brisbane direct from the Melbourne Cabaret Festival, former ballerina and self-confessed control freak Belinda Raisin (Rabbit, April’s Fool) is joined by pitch-perfect pianist Jamie Teh. Totally blind since birth, Jamie boasts the best ears in the business.


Pianist and Composer Jamie Teh 

Musical Director and Composer Jen Teh 

Creative Consultant Alison St Ledger 




Confessions of a Control Freak is a show of stand-up and song that clearly illustrates how life is indeed a cabaret. Channelling her alter-ego, list-loving lady Frances, Belinda Raisin invites the audience into her personal hysteria, one confession at a time. It is a performance that progresses from perkiness to poignancy within the space of an hour.


It begins with revelation of the virtues of procrastination and the merits of mixing yoga and wine, yet surprisingly moves to a point of heart-felt emotion as Frances contemplates crossing children off her ‘to-do’ list. Frances may be a caricature, however, through this conclusion, Raisin creates an unanticipated depth of honest reflection to her character.




The show is as much celebratory as reflective. After all, a performance in which audience members are served red wine from a roller-blading RSA-licensed leading lady cannot take itself too seriously. This is reinforced by its soundtrack of catchy cabaret-styled songs, ranging from A Spoonful of Sugar (to help the medicinal wine go down) to Adele’s Someone Like You longingly lauded to one of Frances’s deceased pets.




Confessions of a Control Freak is very much a festival show and, as such, it is well suited to the communal cabaret environment at Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. It is a chaotic ride and one that is loads of fun due to its relatability to all caught in their own ‘mess of me’ or just those who like to vacuum in roller blades.